Television Reviews

‘Supernatural’ and the Tale Of the Two Worst Writers

Back in 2005, a little horror series premiered on what was then called The WB (now known as The CW). The series was Supernatural, about two brothers hunting all the things that go bump in the night. Created by Eric Kripke, then best known for the 2005 mediocre horror film Boogeyman, which he later mocks in an episode. He would then act as showrunner until 2010, when the fifth season of the series concluded the story he had envisioned.

Spoilers Below

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Star Jared Padalecki (Sam Winchester) chats with creator  and showrunner (S1-S5) Eric Kripke. Guest star Genevieve Padalecki, then Cortese, also pictured.

From that point on, the showrunner role has been passed around a few times to various people who were former writers. Some more successful than others, although Kripke’s absence was felt regardless. With the father of the series now missing, and the departure of several key writers over time, the series began to show cracks in plots and sometimes a general understanding of the characters.

While the series is a draw for many hardcore fans, mainly out of loyalty, it’s apparent the series lacks the fun, and sometimes horror, it used to have. The first being the lack of practical effects that the series use to pride itself on. As the series shifted from a monster-of-the-week formula, to more season long arcs, fans began to take notice of the missing spark. This quickly evolved into several plot devices being used time and time again.

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Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki in a season six episode.

However, nothing has garnered so much outcry from fans than co-writing team Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming. One of which just so happens to be the wife of current series showrunner Robert Singer. If you search on twitter for , you’ll see a storm of fury from fans of the show as the creativity and writing goes down like a sinking ship. It’s a hard thing to admit when you’re favorite show has gone downhill, but fans want a way to fix it before the series is inevitably over.

Why do fans hate the duo so much? For starters, their writing is bad. Shows on The CW aren’t exactly worthy of praise in the dialog department, but Supernatural very much had a language. Much in the way Buffy the Vampire Slayer had a noticeable dialect, Supernatural had a way of merging humor, heart and horror, in its own way. In the past few seasons, there’s been something missing with regards to having iconic dialog and a pleasant balance of comedic delivery with the gruesome plots.

The Future

Buckner and Ross-Leming also have a strong lean towards extremely misogynistic and controversial writing. So much so, star Misha Collins, who portrays angel Castiel on the series, has called it out during fan conventions.

The writing teams first shot at writing for the series was way back in season one for an episode titled “Route 666”. An episode about a truck, haunted by a racist, that’s going after black people in a small town. This would be their only episode for about six years. Returning a couple seasons after Kripke stepped down as showrunner. The reason being that the two were apparently fired. The episode itself has since gone down as one of the worst in the series.

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“Route 666”

Fast-forward to 2011 when they return and continue to write for the show all the way through the current season. Their episodes are obvious to fans, as they are riddled with plot holes, completely lack creativity and/or semblance of proper writing. Sometimes as if they don’t even know what series they are writing for.

What is most upsetting to fans, and what kicked off the latest tirade, has been the killing of great characters in a way that serves no point to the plot. In some cases, just seemingly crass. In the last few years they’ve written episodes that painfully killed off fan favorites Charlie, Kevin and Benny, among a few others. The most recent being the unexpected death of Eileen, a deaf hunter, who was killed before the title card, a common place for the no-name victim of the week. What’s even sadder is the deaf character was killed by an invisible hellhound. So it seems like a cruel trick on someone who relies on their sight and a big joke against the Deaf community.

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Sam meets Eileen, a deaf hunter.

It’s not to say every problem with this season, and the last few, are solely on the shoulders of these two. However, fans are finally using their voice and hoping for a real change. After going from near-perfect seasons, to just having a couple great episodes sprinkled inside a lackluster one, it’s time for the showrunner to take notice.

If you’re a fan of Supernatural, what has been your biggest pet peeve with the series?

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